Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Splice Review

Fig. 1 Splice poster
Breaking the rules of science and blurring the lines of morality, comes Splice. Two scientists splicing multiple animals DNA, bidding to create the optimum hybrid, decide to add the DNA of a human into the procedure. Focusing on the moral issues of science and religion, Vincenzo Natali explores the dangers and issues on the subject. Splice is a combination of Frankenstein and David Cronenberg's The Fly, mixing the chaos of the creature at the expense of it's creator and the moral complexity of a hybrid and human relationship.

Fig. 2 Clive and Elsa
Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are a part of a name game with both of their names originating from James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein, in which Colin Clive played Frankenstein and Elsa Lanchester played the hideous played, ' and sure enough, here the human characters are no less a messy mismatch than their medically constructed offspring', (Bitel, 2009) as a suggestion that we are a product of our own genes. Another pair of names that are well known, and follow a similar trait, are Bonnie and Clyde.

Sarah Polley brings a level of intellect to the role, but with the directed actions given Sarah fails to bring any reality to her part. As Claudia Puig pointed out, 'The story raises questions about her damaged upbringing, then inexplicably drops them. And poor Clive lacks the motivation for his climactic actions' (Puig, 2010). Truly the film is left with only one star, and that is Dren (Abigail Chu as the child and Delphine Chaneac in the adult stage). Consistent throughout, the two actresses maintain their role and adapt as Dren is becoming self aware.

Fig. 3 Dren and Elsa
Most common stories revolve around the concept 'human to monster', but Splice tries to break the theme by using the reversal to only lose all interest in the last half. With the rapid ageing of Dren, both Clive and Elsa are quickly seen as the monster. Even with every moment the characters are presented a chance of redemption, an unintentional act of comedy is soon to follow. Splice has a foreseeable plot, mimicking Frankenstein's story with the motive of David Cronenberg's The Fly. As Julie Rigg wrote, 'Splice is an unsucessful hybrid: half moral fable, half mad scientist makes monster flick. Worth a look, but no prizes for guessing the ending', (Rigg, 2010) noting the similar, if not same, ending as The Fly.

Figure 1. Vincenzo Natali (2009) Splice poster. At:
Figure 2. Vincenzo Natali (2009) Clive and Elsa. At:
Figure 3. Vincenzo Natali (2009) Dren and Elsa. At:

Anton Bitel (2009) Film 4. At:
Claudia Puig (2010) USA Today. At:
Julie Rigg (2010) ABC. At:

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